Amazon Shortens COVID-19 Isolation and Paid Vacation for U.S. Workers

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Amazon told workers on Friday that they only need to isolate for a week after testing positive for COVID-19, instead of 10 days under the updated U.S. health guidelines.

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has led to a surge in cases and a labor shortage in schools, airlines and businesses in the United States. On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the latest guidelines that allow people infected with the virus to end their isolation after five days.

In a message to staff posted by Amazon Reuters, the online retailer said its new one-week isolation policy will take effect immediately. Workers with the virus can get up to 40 hours of paid vacation, a reduction that equates to shorter isolation time.

“Do not come to work if you are sick,” the message said. “Additional vacation options are available for those who remain symptomatic for more than a week.”

The Wall Street Journal had previously published the news.

With hundreds of thousands of warehouse and logistics employees, Amazon is the second largest private employer in the United States. Walmart, the largest company, announced this week to workers that it would cut its size in half [COVID-19] paid leave according to updated CDC guidelines.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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